TRAVEL | May 6

Oaxaca, Mexico Trip Report Part 9: Hagia Sofia Botanic Park 

Kaye Rottingham

We ate breakfast and started the drive to our final destination of Mazunte beach, but first there was one more stop along the way down the mountain. A place called Hagia Sofia Botanic Park, a privately owned nature reserve dedicated to the passion of all things plants, animals and good.

We got to walk the grounds, seeing the collection of jungle flora and fruits native to Mexico as well as an assortment from Southeast Asia.

After wandering through the jungle, we arrived at the fruit orchard and got to sample fruit directly from the trees. The star fruit was amazing and not something I'd ever thought I'd ever be plucking from a tree and biting into like an apple. Among other tastings, we chewed on cinnamon bark and crumbled the remains in our hands to fill the air with its scent.

After touring the gardens, we then hiked down to the river for a swim in the natural rock formations and waterfall. The water was a bit cold, but I guess that was to be expected from a mountain runoff. Fortunately, the weather was a lot warmer down the mountain, making it easier to dive in.

To end off the tour at Hagia Sofia, we were then picked up in a truck and driven back to the entrance for lunch. Naturally, all the food was grown and prepared on site. Also it was delicious, especially the honey.

All fueled up and ready for the beach next...